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Old 04-03-2021, 12:21 PM   #1
mleach2114
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EPIRB Question

Spent the past couple of months preparing the boat for the upcoming dive season which included the purchase of an EPIRB.

I purchased a category 2 version (manual activation) and the question I have is would you mount it to the boat or leave in ditch bag? I have a SPOT device that i was gifted years ago currently in my ditch bag which i will be replacing with a proper PLB next along with handheld VHF.

My thinking is ditch bag as that is the first thing that should be grabbed if things go south but wanted to see what the consensus is. This is my first time dealing with one and want to make sure its where it is most accessible god forbid it's ever needed.

Thanks!
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Old 04-03-2021, 03:57 PM   #2
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Re: EPIRB Question

Whether you mount it or keep it in the ditch bag, everyone on the boat that day needs to know where it is and everyone on the boat needs to be able to show you how to operate it as well as the VHF radio.
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Old 04-06-2021, 04:40 PM   #3
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Re: EPIRB Question

I thought the purpose of an EPIRB was to be mounted to the boat so that it will passively activate if the boat sinks. Obviously if yours is manually activated that doesn't matter, but at that point if you keep it in a ditch bag I'm not sure if the distinction between EPIRB and PLB matters, you could just get a second PLB of the same make/model that operates the same way.
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Old 04-07-2021, 06:57 AM   #4
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Re: EPIRB Question

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I thought the purpose of an EPIRB was to be mounted to the boat so that it will passively activate if the boat sinks. Obviously if yours is manually activated that doesn't matter, but at that point if you keep it in a ditch bag I'm not sure if the distinction between EPIRB and PLB matters, you could just get a second PLB of the same make/model that operates the same way.
A Cat 1 406 MHz EPIRB has an automatic hydrostatic release mechanism in the mounting bracket. A Cat 2 406 MHz EPIRB is a manual release. Hydrostatic release is required on commercial type vessels and much more expensive than manual release. They are also costly to maintain as the hydrostatic release has an expiration date so most recreational vessels opt for manual release.

I have a Boston Whaler so my vessel will not sink. Therefore, if my vessel were to swamp or flip over I will still have a good chance of retrieving my ditch bag which contains my EPIRB. If your vessel can sink then you still should have a ditch bag...... but maybe keep your EPIRB mounted in an easily accessible location so at least you can grab it quickly if you do have to abandon ship. Of course you still have the hydrostatic release option if you don’t mind the addition purchase and maintenance costs.
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Old 04-07-2021, 08:59 PM   #5
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Re: EPIRB Question

Personally, I like mine mounted to the outside of the center console/cuddy/top or wherever it is easily visible and accessible by anyone on the boat. When someone is on the boat as a first timer, I point out the EPIRB, location of the life vest, flares, etc. If there ever is an emergency, I want to be managing the emergency the best I can while I give direction to the others as to what they should be doing. I don't want to stop and explain to someone to go to this compartment or that compartment to retrieve life vest, flares or whatever else.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:23 PM   #6
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Re: EPIRB Question

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Originally Posted by mleach2114 View Post

My thinking is ditch bag as that is the first thing that should be grabbed if things go south but wanted to see what the consensus is.

Thanks!
The ditch bag should be the last thing you grab before you end up in the water....it should be water proof if submersed and contain things such as PLB, hand held VHF, signal mirror, flares (good use of old/expired flares), first aid kit, sun screen, couple of bottles of water, protein bars or something similar. Things that you would want if hanging out in the water waiting for rescue or in the event that you get separated from the boat.

My ditch bag is a dry bag back pack.......if I'm on someone else's boat, it goes with me. After being on someone else's boat that capsized, I realized that I was ultimately responsible for my own safety and do everything in my power to make sure I'm sleeping in my own bed at the end of the day.
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Old 04-07-2021, 09:39 PM   #7
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Re: EPIRB Question

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The ditch bag should be the last thing you grab before you end up in the water....it should be water proof if submersed and contain things such as PLB, hand held VHF, signal mirror, flares (good use of old/expired flares), first aid kit, sun screen, couple of bottles of water, protein bars or something similar. Things that you would want if hanging out in the water waiting for rescue or in the event that you get separated from the boat. My ditch bag is a dry bag back pack.......if I'm on someone else's boat, it goes with me. After being on someone else's boat that capsized, I realized that I was ultimately responsible for my own safety and do everything in my power to make sure I'm sleeping in my own bed at the end of the day.
Rogers on that! I never go offshore on any boat unless they have an EPIRB. If they donít have one then I bring mine. I am really clueless as to why the US Coast Guard does not require all vessels that are more than 3 miles from shore to have one. If you can afford a vessel that has offshore capability then you can darn sure sure afford a $500.00 EPIRB.
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Old 04-07-2021, 10:10 PM   #8
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Re: EPIRB Question

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Rogers on that! I never go offshore on any boat unless they have an EPIRB. If they donít have one then I bring mine. I am really clueless as to why the US Coast Guard does not require all vessels that are more than 3 miles from shore to have one. If you can afford a vessel that has offshore capability then you can darn sure sure afford a $500.00 EPIRB.
Agree.

BTW...anyone that needs one, I have one for sale.
ACR Global Fix, (used to belong to the Coast Guard)
Needs a new battery, (A new battery install, all the testing and certification, and shipping w/insurance will cost you $285..don't ask me how I know!)
First $100 takes it.
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:36 PM   #9
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Re: EPIRB Question

Things to think about also What if your the one incapacitated,
your bag is out of site out mind. they may not see the importance in your bag in the panic and craziness of an emergency. Every time you go out a short 1 minute run thru where things are, how the radio works, compass heading to return to shore and a mile or so past marker 1 have everyone turn and look at the channel marker and other visual keys. Sinking is not the only emergency, as divers what about LOST diver, Injured diver, Bent diver. Who carries an O2 kit? had O2 training? What's in your first aid kit? and when was the last time you went thru it. Flares are not the only thing that expiries.
Dive safe and remember your not just driving a boat but you are responsible for those aboard your vessel and their safety.
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Old 04-12-2021, 08:56 PM   #10
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Re: EPIRB Question

All good points. As I'm always a passenger, glad to say all have been hammered home with me and I appreciate the tutelage.
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Old 04-13-2021, 07:41 AM   #11
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Re: EPIRB Question

Something else to consider is if you overnight on your boat. I'd make sure the EPRIB or PLB is easily accessible outside a cabin. There was a guy off the east coast in December who had a PLB in his ditch bag in the cabin. He woke up to being swept out of the cabin by water in the middle of the night and clung to the bow of his boat for two days before luckily being spotted by a freighter. I imagine during those two days all he could think about was that he wished his PLB was accessible on the outside of his vessel.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/man-res...-coast-speaks/
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Old 04-15-2021, 09:11 AM   #12
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Re: EPIRB Question

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Originally Posted by gcracker89 View Post
Things to think about also What if your the one incapacitated,
your bag is out of site out mind. they may not see the importance in your bag in the panic and craziness of an emergency. Every time you go out a short 1 minute run thru where things are, how the radio works, compass heading to return to shore and a mile or so past marker 1 have everyone turn and look at the channel marker and other visual keys. Sinking is not the only emergency, as divers what about LOST diver, Injured diver, Bent diver. Who carries an O2 kit? had O2 training? What's in your first aid kit? and when was the last time you went thru it. Flares are not the only thing that expiries.
Dive safe and remember your not just driving a boat but you are responsible for those aboard your vessel and their safety.
All good points. I do make it a point to go over everything for anyone who hasn't been aboard before to make sure everyone knows where all of the safety gear is and how to use it. I thought about making a small laminated index card to keep near the helm with important information in the event i become incapacitated such as what VHF channel in an emergency, which waypoint to head to to get home and so on.

I do carry an extensive first aid kit which I go through ever year when im doing my normal boat maintenance (lower unit oil, spark plugs, hubs, etc..) to ensure everything is up to date.

I have contemplated adding an O2 kit to my safety equipment. I volunteer at the FL Aquarium and have to get certified every 2 years through the DAN First Aid for Professional Divers course. Might make that a priority as i plan to increase the frequency i dive from my boat this year.
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Old 04-15-2021, 11:09 AM   #13
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Re: EPIRB Question

O2 and tourniquets should be top priority for dive boats, IMO. You can also call DAN and they'll send you stickers with their phone number printed on them.

Otherwise I agree with all the other things mentioned. Another thing to mention to crew if you live boat when diving, make sure they understand if the boat engine stalls, to deploy the anchor.
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Old 04-15-2021, 02:18 PM   #14
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Re: EPIRB Question

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O2 and tourniquets should be top priority for dive boats, IMO. You can also call DAN and they'll send you stickers with their phone number printed on them.

Otherwise I agree with all the other things mentioned. Another thing to mention to crew if you live boat when diving, make sure they understand if the boat engine stalls, to deploy the anchor.
Unless there's a strong current right?
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Old 04-15-2021, 06:55 PM   #15
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Re: EPIRB Question

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Unless there's a strong current right?
Too many variables to say.

I would want my guys to drop the hook first. If the boat's dead in the water and your guy is on the bottom the boat could end up far down current before the diver surfaces. Wind could be blowing in the opposite or in a different direction. I think anchoring on the spot with expectation the diver is going to resurface near the spot will increase the probability diver and boat don't get separated. If diver comes up down current you can pull the hook to move toward them.
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